Hours of Service Regulations
Understanding Federal Trucking Laws
Because commercial trucks and tractor-trailers present numerous dangers
on public roadways, the federal government heavily regulates the trucking
industry, trucking companies, and truck drivers. Among the many
federal trucking laws in place, some of the most important include Hours of Service (HOS) rules.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) any
driver of a commercial motor vehicle – including passenger-carriers
and freight-carriers – are required to comply with Hours of Service
rules. These rules essentially govern the amount of time drivers are allowed
to be on duty and behind the wheel, and establish mandatory breaks and
rest periods. HOS rules are designed to limit the risks posed by
tired truck drivers – one of the most common causes of preventable truck accidents.
HOS Rules for Commercial Property-Carrying Drivers
Commercial truck drivers transporting cargo must comply with the FMCSA
Hours-of-Service rules, which include the following:
11-Hour Driving Limit – Truck drivers may drive for up to 11 hours, but only after they
have had 10 consecutive hours off duty.
14-Hour Limit – Truck drivers may be on duty for up to 14 consecutive hours, provided they
have had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Mandatory Breaks – Truck drivers are required to take mandatory rest breaks. They may drive
only if 8 hours or less have passed since they were last off-duty or took
a 30-minute break.
60/70 Rule – Truck drivers have restrictions limiting how long they are allowed to drive
in a week. For example, truck drivers are not allowed to drive after working
60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or after working 70 hours in 8 consecutive days.
These HOS regulations have been found to greatly reduce risks of accidents
caused by tired truck drivers. When drivers and trucking companies fail
to abide by these rules, they place others on public roadways in danger
of being involved in traffic accidents.
Learn More About Your Trucking Accident
Our Washington, DC truck accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata
& Siegel, P.C. are committed to fighting on behalf of victims and
families harmed by negligent trucking companies and drivers, including
those who fail to comply with Hours-of-Service regulations. If you have
questions about your case, your rights, and how our firm can help, we
invite you to request a free case evaluation.
To request a free consultation, call 202-644-8303 today.